LA Times on "YouTube journalism"
The LA Times has a piece on what they call YouTube journalism, and start off with the example of this video clip, filmed by a mountaneering expedition team in the Nangapa pass in the Himilayas on Sept. 30, 2006.
The video clip shows some people on a foot path up a snowy mountain. Suddenly you hear a shot and one of them fall to the ground. They are Tibetan refugees, and are shot by Chinese soldiers.
As you can hear in this clip, the Chinese news agency’s take on this episode is that “Chinese frontier soldiers tried to persuade the tibetans to go home, but the tibetans refused and attacked the soldiers. These were then forced to defend themselves and to wound two persons.”
The video clip clearly shows a different story. It was shown on Romanian tv, then published on YouTube where it got worldwide attention. LA Times calls it “the YouTube effect”.
Although international news operations employ thousands of professional journalists, they will never be as omnipresent as millions of people carrying cellphones that can record video. Thanks to the ubiquity of video technology, the world was able to witness a shooting in a 19,000-foot-high mountain pass in Tibet.
This phenomenon is amplified by a double-echo chamber: One echo is produced when content first posted on the Web is re-aired by mainstream TV networks. The second echo occurs when television clips — until now ephemeral — gain a permanent presence through websites such as YouTube. Bloggers and activists everywhere are recognizing the power of citizen-produced and Web-distributed videos as the ultimate testimony.
Read the full story, that also touches on witness.org, trust in citizen journalism, political effects and censorship.